Monday, 18 June 2012

Guardian Discussion

On Friday The Guardian Healthcare Network hosted a live discussion about "What matters to patients" with an expert panel. Here are some of the main points for me . . .

  • Jackie Daniel: "People have a lifelong relationship with healthcare"
  • James Munroe identified giving patients information in a timely way one of the 'basics' of healthcare
  • Don Redding mentioned the Picker Institute principles of patient-centred care
  • James made another good point - that for patients, filling out a survey is different to being heard, and that was re-iterated later  with a comment about "survey and consultation fatigue".James  expanded later saying that the cost of everyone having a voice has effectively fallen to zero, but the cost of listening has not! There will be more stories but there may not be anyone taking any notice of them! Quite critical if people want those stories to encourage change!
  • Encouragingly Stephen Dunn said "we need to move on from talking about a revolution to delivering a revolution", which is a very important distinction to have mentioned! There is a definite risk of rhetoric not lining up with practice in this area.
  •  Jackie commented that "the true measure of success must be not just short-term health improvement, but ways of helping people improve their lives and their life-chances on a long-term sustainable basis" which is something I value as a patient and would also help towards a more sustainable NHS on the whole too. The short term view is because of the electoral cycle and short-term horizons of managers - short-term results get funding/promotions etc!
  • Potential of co-design of services was raised
  • The one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work! Patients are very different and staff need to be "responsive to individuals"
  • Don Redding commented about feedback kits that "its not the kit, its what you do with it" which is a key point! If the great information collected is not turned into practice changes, it is lost. 
  • The role of technology was appreciated, but it was understood that it is not a substitute for talking to people - GOOD!!!
A really interesting discussion with some thought-provoking points raised. Looking forward to the next Guardian discussion! Thanks to all the panel for some great contributions and ideas!

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